I felt led to look into the words ‘dedication’ and ‘devotion’ recently. Dedication is the act of dedicating or the state of being dedicated. The definition of the word dedicate is “to set apart and consecrate to a deity or to a sacred purpose: to devote wholly and earnestly, as to some person or purpose.” The word devotion means “profound dedication; consecration. Earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.” The word consecrate means “to make or declare sacred; set apart or dedicate to the service of a deity; to make (something) an object of honor or veneration; hallow; to devote or dedicate to some purpose.” All this, of course, led me to see what the Bible says about being dedicated and devoted, and this blog is the result of that search.
As children of God, we are to be separate and set apart from the world around us, with our focus on the things of God rather than the world. Colossians 3:1-10 says, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things of the earth. For ye are dead,and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” We all need to ask ourselves where our focus is. When you wake up in the morning, is the Lord the first One on your mind? Do you thank Him for being allowed to see another day? Or do you not give it a single thought, but instead focus on the things of this world. We all have work, or family, or other life situations that we must give time to, but God needs to be a part of everything in our lives, here and now. He cares for us every moment of every day, so don’t set Him aside until you find a moment in your busy schedule; make time for Him in every aspect of life instead of just at Sunday morning church service or a quick prayer before going to sleep.
In James 1:22,we are told, “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” How can we be devoted to God when we don’t apply His Word to our lives? And in order to be sure that we are living according to His commandments, we need to be mindful of what we are told in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.” When we are truly dedicated to serving our Heavenly Father, we will be sure to include time in our day for praise, prayer, and the study of His Word. Just because God is not standing physically in our presence every day does not mean He is not with us. Don’t ignore Him and set Him to the side. Just as you wouldn’t ignore a family member or friend who loves you and is always there for you, make sure to show God the same love and devotion. He is with us even when no one else can be.
Psalms 1:1-3 tells us, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” We need to devote our lives to God and keep Him first and foremost, so that we make Him a part of every decision we make, and we seek His will for every action we take. When we do this, He has promised, as in Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Also remember that Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.”
We cannot choose to ignore God and put other things first in our life and still say we are devoted to Him and dedicated to living our lives for Him. Luke 16:3 makes it clear, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” While mammon refers to riches, this does not negate the first part of this verse. We cannot put other things first in our life, rather that is financial gain, family and friends, or earthly pleasures, and still say we serve God. He should always be our priority, and when we put Him first, we find that everything else falls into place.
In Romans 12:1-2, Paul writes, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Devotion to God is not extraordinary service: it is our reasonable service to dedicate our lives to Him and His will for us.
In 1 Corinthians 3:16, we read, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” The Holy Spirit resides inside every child of God and is there to help us as we seek to dedicate our lives to our Heavenly Father. When we truly live to please Him, we will pray and study His Word to make sure that we are doing all that we can to live as Jesus, our example, showed us. Let us seek to follow God’s will in our lives every day. Going back to the third chapter of Colossians, verses 12-17, we are told exactly how to do this. “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity (love), which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.”